Nestin(+) kidney resident mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of acute kidney ischemia injury.

PMID 25736496


Renal resident mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are important regulators of kidney homeostasis, repair or regeneration. However, natural distribution and the starting population properties of these cells remain elusive because of the lack of specific markers. Here, we identified post-natal kidney derived Nestin(+) cells that fulfilled all of the criteria as a mesenchymal stem cell. These isolated Nestin(+) cells expressed the typical cell-surface marker of MSC, including Sca-1, CD44, CD106, NG2 and PDGFR-α. They were capable of self-renewal, possessed high clonogenic potential and extensive proliferation for more than 30 passages. Under appropriate differentiation conditions, these cells could differentiate into adipocytes, osteocytes, chondrocytes and podocytes. After intravenous injection into acute kidney injury mice, Nestin(+) cells contributed to functional improvement by significantly decreasing the peak level of serum creatinine and BUN, and reducing the damaged cell apoptosis. Furthermore, conditioned medium from Nestin(+) cells could protect against ischemic acute renal failure partially through paracrine factor VEGF. Taken together, our findings indicate that renal resident Nestin(+) MSCs can be derived, propagated, differentiated, and repair the acute kidney injury, which may shed new light on understanding MSCs biology and developing cell replacement therapies for kidney disease.